ISLAMABAD: While most of the activities on the Kashmir Solidarity Day remained almost the same as they had been in the past, the behaviour of participants in the rallies held in the federal capital on Friday was not.
The day was observed with a higher degree of fervour and enthusiasm compared to previous years, especially 2015. The day is mainly observed by groups who have jihadi links. In 2015, all such groups and parties were ‘on the back foot’ after the enactment of the National Action Plan (NAP) in January that year.
Most of the activities organised by former jihadists on Friday witnessed stern criticism of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and soft praises for army chief Gen Raheel Sharif.
The key event of the day was a disciplined ‘Solidarity with Kashmir’ conference organised by Jamatud Dawa (JuD) outside the National Press Club. Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, the chief of JuD, made his public appearance in Islamabad after about three years.
Not only was the conference heavily attended by workers and followers of the party, it also showcased the high degree of technical advancement made by JuD. Security personnel of JuD stationed at various positions wore jackets of different colours – clearly defining their duties.